The Truth about Skatboarding
It seems everyone has an opinion about skateboarding these days, and guess what, so do we. Crispin and I just returned from a big awards ceremony where they indoctrinate old skateboarders in the skateboarding hall of fame. Some of the nominees where Rodney Mullen (one of my favorite skaters of all time), Christian Hosoi, Allen Gelfand (the dude who invented the ollie) and a bunch of other cats. It turns out that if you wanted to pay a shit ton more money than we could afford, one could attend three days of lectures put on by top brands and learn all about the industry.
Do you want to know what all these “Officials of skateboarding” had to teach us, allegedly? Well, the general consensus was, Skateboarding is FUCKED! The industry is down, the brands are hurting, everyone’s confused and so on. WTF is that all about? These are the dudes that own the brands that you see on retail shelves all over the world. So why are they so confused? Big skate companies would kill for the answer. And guess who has it? Yep, this mutha-fucker right here.
There is one brand that is shining right now. The Hundreds seems to be killing the T-shirt game and rightly so. Bobby is out there with the “punk rock” skate attitude that made skateboarding what it is today. He exposes a good reality of why everyone else is SUCKING. That’s not to say skateboarding is boring, skaters are killing it all over the world, it’s just stating that the so called “industry heads” are scratching, “their heads”.
You, who are reading this, yep all three of you, are probably wondering what is going on. You might be saying to yourself, “I didn’t hear about all these brands being confused about the business they’re in”. That’s right you didn’t. It’s all industry bullshit and hogwash because these “head dudes” as we will call them, are missing a fundamental point. Know what that is? Skateboarding is for FUCKING fun! It’s something we do to get out-a the house. A skateboard can flip down stairs, get you to school, haul ass down a big hill and now-a-days, slide the fuck out-a just about everything that has concrete over it. We see it. Know why? Churchill is one of the very first companies to come from skateboarding and move into what we feel skateboarding has always been about. Know what that is, EXCITEMENT. Today you will find that in what some might call longboarding while others call it cruising or carving or DH or freeriding. Truth is that NOBODY knows what to call “skateboarding” today.
Here’s our wacky idea of why old skateboard companies are so confused. Before longboarding came in, skateboarding was about pros. Professional skateboarders are what skateboarding is all about. They help us to see what can be done on a double kicked piece of wood. And it just keeps getting better and better. Then some other dudes said to themselves, “fuck, these tiny ass small wheels really suck for skating home from the bar when I am blasted ass drunk”. You see, when you want to get from point “A” to point “B”, skateboards with small wheels and short wheelbases, SUCK! I should now, my skateboard was my ride home from many a bar. Then there’s the hole, I wanna get my surfboard to the beach without taking a fin up my ass idea. So the surfers, yep the dudes that used to laugh at me as a kid skating down the sidewalk calling me a kook, decided to ride their “surfboard transportation device”, to the store to get their beer. Ah-oh, who’s the kook now? Viola, longboarding is born from surfing and we got brands like Sector 9 and Gravity to show for it. Leap forward a decade, wait, maybe two, and here we are. So what then is skateboarding? We know skateboarding is about pros but then what is longboarding? Sure we have professional longboarders, but they are a totally different lot, then what we traditionally know a pro to be. Skateboarding laughs at these dudes (sorry to be so blunt). I am not saying we do, cuz we sponser skateboarders on all sides. Yep, that’s right, we have a “Skogger”, Steven Meketa, our street dude, Victor Castillo and our DH freerider, Sean VonMiner. Now you are getting the picture. Skateboarding is first and foremost, about fun, then, it’s about product and pros. We use the pros for inspiration, and the product for performance. Then create some new styles and you have what we think skateboarding is today.
One could speculate that Surfing, Skating and Snowboarding are all very similar in style. It used to be that you had to be a skater or a surfer and then snowboarding came along and fucked it all up. Snowboarding blurred the lines between who’s who. Snowboarding had it’s own adversary, SKIING. And that shit was, can we say it, GAY (the dictionary term for gay is happy). Now skiing is cool again because snowboarding got so played out and skis started looking way cooler after snowboarding and skiing started to BLEND. Snowboarders started skiing and skis got DOUBLE KICKS. Who would have guessed it, yep, this mutha-fucker right here. We made skiis with double kicks in 1998! All said, boarding has gotten “BORING”. Thank god for brands like the Hundreds (even though I am sure Bobby would hate our pricing structure), and Churchill for making killer longboards and skateboards that you can afford to rip on (verbally and physically).
So in the end, we know that skateboarding is for fun and something you can fall in love with. Pros made the industry and skaterboarders wanted more than just skateboard decks with some dudes name on the bottom. I mean, take a look at what we make, it’s totally different from what we made in the 90’s. Why? Because this shit is fun and exciting. It turns out that you can do a lot more on a skateboarding than just flip it. So why shouldn’t we build all kinds of new and exciting skateboards! Sure we still sell some of the best street wood in the game, but why stop there? Welcome to the future and the future is bright. Soon I would image, longboarding will be owned by Nike or Billabong and the love that made the sport will be gone and left to a bunch of old dudes re-living the glory years. Oh wait, Billabong is Bankrupt, shoot, one down. Haha, the door is wide open. Now let’s see some Baker Downhill boards and a Jamie Thomas drop through! See you guys on the other side! Troy